I’m standing in an Indian market sipping a rose water laissi. It’s light and sweet, a lilt of floral in the sip, but I can’t decide which flavor to order, so I sample the shop’s strawberry laissi, then the “honey lune,” and the “magique almond” flavor. Only I’m not in India at all, I’m in Mount Kisco, at the Little Spice Bazaar, a five-month-old Indian market and street food cafe on Main Street. Inside the narrow storefront is the Monsiuer Singh Lassi Bar as well as rows of loose spices and teas sold by the pound.
If you haven’t been to Delhi, then you’re probably like me — You know lassis as thick creamy smoothies, often mango-flavored, that you order with, say, chicken tikka masala. But Bedford resident Bonnie Saran, the owner of the Lassi Bar, isn’t just blending smoothies; she’s trying to make the healthiest lassi she can.
Saran makes 20 pounds of fresh yogurt everyday. She buys lots of ingredients locally. And she uses only natural sweeteners, like agave nectar, in her lassis. The result is a refreshing take on the heavy lassi that I’m used to. “We follow the Ayurveda method,” says Saran. Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old wellness system from India that says that fruit and yogurt are not compatible; they can cause indigestion. Saran adds soothing herbs and spices to her lassis to balance the combination of the fruit and yogurt. “Our lassi aids digestion,” she says. “We have moms who bring their babies in to drink it and soothe their stomachs.”
Two doors down Saran has a restaurant called Little Kabab Station, which is her sit-down 10-seat restaurant featuring Indian standbys like saag paneer, chicken vindaloo, and seekh kabab. My husband, John, and I took our son here after sipping smoothies next door. All dishes are between $6 and $8 for lunch, $9 and $15 for dinner. (We ate like kings for $22. Total.) The food was as light and tasty as the lassis, no heavy sauces here. I couldn’t stop sopping up the chicken tikka masala’s creamy tomato sauce with the light and puffy nan. We vowed we’d come back the following week.
You know who else loves Saran’s food: Martha Stewart. She wrote about Saran’s lassi bar and Indian cafe on her personal blog.
In a few weeks, Saran is opening a third store smack dab in the middle of the Little Spice Bazaar and Little Kebab Station. It’s called Little Crepe Street, and it’s going to have a wide variety of European influenced crepes, both sweet and savory. “I wanted to open something that we didn’t have already,” says Saran. Little Crepe Street will serve coffee and offer customers free wi-fi.
One caveat: There are no highchairs here, so be prepared to do takeout if your little one isn’t chair-ready.
Little Spice Bazaar, 27 E. Main Street, Mount Kisco; 914-218-3333. Little Kabab Station, 31 E. Main Street, Mount Kisco; 914-242-7000.